Business Insights

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Findings from our 2012 and 2013 are available here:

Business confidence

Riding a wave of optimism - But is it going in the right direction?

Canadian private companies have told us that they’re confident and optimistic for the year ahead, forecasting an average of 7.6% growth, but at a time when national growth is two per cent, what strategies will they put in place to achieve such aggressive goals?

Canadian private companies are striving for growth and expansion and 78% expect business to get better over the next 12 months. They plan to achieve growth by improving sales and marketing campaigns (44%); improving their customer experience and retention programs (38%); and by developing new products and services (31%).

Barriers to growth

Our study found that the primary barriers for growth for the next year include the economy/lack of activity (38%), labour shortages/recruitment of skilled staff (28%) and demand for products/services (25%).

Although Canadian private company leaders have set aggressive growth targets, the past five years have taught this community that nothing is certain when it comes to the economy and a downshift would always be a major threat to growth. Private company leaders know they need to be agile and frequently revisit their growth strategies to respond effectively to current market conditions.

Strategies for growth

Canadian private companies are setting their sights on the domestic market. Over the next five years, 60% are planning to grow within Canada, largely because of the nature of their products and services, capacity to serve the market and demand.

Entering new markets isn’t a large part of their growth strategy and only one in ten survey respondents believe mergers or acquisitions will play a role in helping to achieve their aggressive growth targets.

Overall, private company leaders are sticking to the fundamental strategies that have worked in the past. But will these tried and true business practices continue to work in an increasingly competitive and interconnected global marketplace? While entering new markets, or pursuing an M&A can be challenging, with the right strategies and a secured foundation in place, the opportunities for growth are infinite.

Read the full report, which includes interpretation of the survey results, strategies private companies should consider when looking to expand their business and insight from the founder of Ingenia Polymers in our latest As I see it article.


The role of government

The role of government in supporting the private sector

Canada’s private business leaders are confident and optimistic for the year ahead. They’ve forecasted a strong growth rate of 7.6% and plan to achieve this through organic growth within the Canadian market.

What role does government play in helping private companies reach their aggressive targets?

Saul Plener, National Leader of PwC’s Private Company Services practice summarizes findings from over 350 Canadian private company leaders and shares advice on what they can do to capitalize on the government policies and incentives that are available.



For the first time in its nine-year history, we asked Canada’s private company leaders about their satisfaction with provincial government tax policies and how they view the role of government in supporting private businesses.

Beyond the expected—the majority, 75%, of respondents feel that their provincial government has not done enough to reduce the tax burden—findings that vary based on geography and company size.

In this article, PwC’s Jason Safar and Nadja Ibrahim share their interpretation of the results and discuss how a well-planned tax strategy can help private companies stay ahead.


Technology strategies

Canada’s private company leaders have forecasted an aggressive growth rate of 7.6% and understand that technology is a means to get there. That said, only 20% of respondents are planning to invest in new technologies this year. So why the hesitation? For private company leaders, change represents risks, and relying on proven growth strategies can seem like the safer route. But it today’s technology-driven, hyper-competitive market, the real risk is not acting fast enough to modernize and being left behind.

In this report, PwC’s Matt Ambrose and Matthew Kenny share their interpretation of the results and discuss what business leaders should be doing now to grow their business through smart technology implementation.


Business Insights 2012

Owning the today and tomorrow of your business

The Business Insights Survey of Canadian private companies 2012

How are Canadian private companies embracing change and adapting to increased competition, volatility and economic uncertainties? What are they doing to position themselves for growth in the long-term?

In the eighth annual Business Insights Survey, results from over 400 respondents reveal that Canadian private companies are feeling confident in their ability to navigate through the uncertainties of today’s economy. Over the past few years, they have focused their attention on reducing costs and improving efficiencies as a means to survive the recessionary years. Today, they have embraced these strategies as an ongoing process, not to survive, but to grow, gain a competitive edge and reinforce their agility.

If there’s one theme that is consistent throughout this year’s Business Insights Survey, it’s that Canada’s private companies have a deep self-confidence.

Business Insights early data

The results are in

View our infographic to learn more

They have accepted that volatility, uncertainties and challenges, including fierce competition, price-cutting and skilled labour shortages are here to stay. But they’re also confident in their own abilities to grow in such an environment—and for many, to grow robustly. They’re not about to wait for better and more secure times—which may never come.

Canada’s private companies have taken the lessons from the past and built on them. They’re taking charge of their own future and are owning the today and tomorrow of their business.

"On-the-ground" reports

To accompany the 2012 Business Insights report, local Private Company Services leaders share some of the "on-the-ground" observations that they've learned from working day-to-day with business leaders in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

2.87 MB Alberta Regional Summary – 2012
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266 KB BC Regional Summary – 2012
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266 KB Ontario Regional Summary – 2012
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266 KB Quebec Regional Summary – 2012
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